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WATER IN THE PARK by Emily Jenkins Kirkus Star


by Emily Jenkins ; illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: May 14th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-375-87002-6
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

From sunrise to sunset on a scorching summer day, people (and animals) use the water found in a park in many different ways.

“Tup tup. Tup tup.” A cat drinks from a puddle. Dogs splash in the pond to stay cool. Children clean their sticky fingers or build a sand castle complete with moat. Jenkins begins this close inspection of a city’s greenery at 6 a.m., when the turtles are just sliding off the rocks and the park is waking up. Every hour is told in small moments, some simple (“Around four o’clock, Benjamin F. skins his knee. / His sitter washes it clean with water from the fountain”) and some amusingly poetic (“Ribbons of water seep out of the rose beds and under benches.... / Pigeons strut at the edges of the new puddles, / cooling their pigeon ankles”). But perhaps the most fun is searching Graegin’s incredibly detailed illustrations. By 10 a.m., the playground is filled to the brim with kids and adults, some of whom will be introduced later in the story and others for whom readers can create their own narrative. It is a seek and find, with curiosity as a guide.

Water may flow in abundance through these pages, but this title is an outpouring of observation that repays careful readers richly. (Picture book. 3-6)